While pay in professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling remains relatively low compared to other professional sports, several top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners regularly compete in multiple tournaments and super fights around the world each year. They also conduct seminars and release instructional videos. Below is a list of current athletes among the highest paid in the sport and their estimated average earnings:
Gordon Ryan (Estimated Net Worth: $1-2 million)
At only 24 years old, Gordon Ryan is considered the top no-gi grappler in the world and a heavyweight/absolute ADCC champion. He has amassed an impressive record of wins and cash prizes from competition. When not competing, Ryan conducts numerous seminars worldwide to share techniques learned from his coach John Danaher. He also partners with BJJ Fanatics to produce instructional content. Ryan is openly discussed his income, previously posting an account balance over $400,000. He has secured sponsorships for his no-gi apparel from brands like Hypnotik and Future Kimonos.
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida (Estimated Net Worth: $1 million)
Almeida is recognized as one of the greatest grapplers of his generation with multiple world championships since 2010, including two ADCC titles. He has also achieved success in numerous super fights and may transition to mixed martial arts.
Felipe “Preguica” Pena (Estimated Net Worth: $1 million)
Pena holds multiple IBJJF world titles and a former ADCC heavyweight championship. Since his first world title as a brown belt in 2012, this Gracie Barra athlete has dominated top competitions, winning significant prize money. While his precise earnings are unknown, Pena will likely remain among the highest paid in the sport for years to come. He also owns an academy in Belo Horizonte.
Keenan Cornelius (Estimated Net Worth: approx. $1 million)
Cornelius is one of BJJ’s most recognizable figures. His website KeenanOnline. om is a leading online learning resource, and he has produced extensive content on his unique guard techniques. Cornelius has opened his own academy, Legion Academy, in San Diego, which will further increase his income. He was previously sponsored by Hyperfly but is now with Tatami.